|The GotToBeNC Competition Dining Series, a single-elimination culinary tournament of chefs, highlights the best of the state’s food, agriculture and culinary talent. North Carolina’s favorite culinary sport starts in Charlotte on August 18, 2014 when sixteen local chefs will go up one against the other, head to head, battle by battle in Charlotte’s own Fire in the City culinary competition.Each Fire in the City dinner takes place at the beautiful Bonterra Dining and Wine Room located at 1829 Cleveland Ave in historic SouthEnd. The Bonterra kitchen provides a neutral battle field for these chefs from restaurants all around the city. The chefs come in around 11 or so, and following the lead of Chef Refs Laurence Willard and Billy Seay, take stock of what foodstuffs are available to them to use from the mobile pantry and then sit down for a presentation from Competition Dining host and creator, Jimmy Crippen, to learn the details on the secret ingredient for the evening. Then they get cooking till its time to plate and serve upwards of 150 guests each evening of the competition – the fun and festivities each evening kick off at 7 pm.
There is nothing else like it any place else, you could say its the Sweet Sixteen of Charlotte’s culinary community. To paraphrase Oprah, what I know for sure is, YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS IT! To make it even more fun, at each Competition Dining dinner two teams of talented chefs must each prepare their three courses using a secret or featured ingredient that comes from a North Carolina farmer or artisan producer. Award winning NC wines and local NC craft beers are also featured at each dinner. Competition Dining is all about things Grown, Raised, Caught and Made in the great state of North Carolina.
And the best part is, you get the be the judge! At each dinner – or culinary battle – you, the diner, will delight in savoring six courses without knowing which chef prepared each dish. Its a blind tasting of sorts and as you eat, you’ll rate each plate using a specially designed interactive app which you will download on your smart phone. No smartphone, you say? No worries! The tech talented team at HitsTech, Competition Dining’s NC based tech support team, are on site and have smart phones you can borrow for the evening.
At meals end, final scores are revealed and just like you see on Iron Chef or Chopped, one team moves on to the next round and one team goes home.
And for the winner…
At stake for the series winner. along with the all important braggin rites, is a grand prize of $2,000, a handmade chef knife by Charlotte’s Own, Steve Watkins of Ironman Forge and the coveted “Red Chef Jacket.”
Additionally, the Fire In The City winning team moves on to the Final Fire Battle of Champions.
As the official blogger of Fire in the City series and now the social media maven for Competition Dining across the state ( that’s me behind all of the Competition Dining Tweets and Facebook post) I’ll be there at every battle. covering all the action, tweeting and facebooking along the way and then posting the recap with notes on my favorite dishes and details on the secret ingredients here on these blog pages each morning after.
If you want to follow along during each battle, periodically check the Competition Dining Facebook page through the evening or follow along on Twitter by searching #CompDiningNC. Feel free to post your own ooohs and aaaahs as the food photos and course descriptives are posted and by all means, don’t hesitate to post your own comments on the action or in support of your favorite chefs along the way.
I can tell you from experience, that one or two nights of following along on the social media and you’re going to wish you were there in person. These dinners are like eating dinner at TWO of your favorite Charlotte restaurants at the same time and I can promise, its the most fun you’ll ever have on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday evening! So, Don’t Miss Out on this incredible culinary experience.
Make your reservations now, simply click here and then select each individual battle to link to that specific reservation page.
For more information about where you will find these chefs and their restaurants, outside of Competition Dining, follow the links to restaurant websites at the bottom of this page
I encourage you to go and dine with each of the Got To Be NC Fire In The City chefs at their own individual restaurants, outside of all the Competition Dining fun, as well –
Here they are with links to their websites:
Chef Luca Annunziate – Passion 8 – http://www.passion8bistro.com/
Chef Clark Barlowe – Heirloom Restaurant – http://www.heirloomrestaurantnc.com/
Chef Tom Dyrness – Mama Ricotta’s - http://mamaricottasrestaurant.com/home/
Chef Brian Mottola – e2 Emeril’s Eatery- http://www.emerilsrestaurants.com/e2-emerils-eatery
Chef David Feimster – Fahrenheit - http://www.chefroccowhalen.com/fahrenheit-charlotte/
Chef David Quintana – Southminster- http://www.southminster.org/exquisite-dining/
Chef David Moore – Gallery Restaurant – http://www.gallery-restaurant.com/
Chef Ben Phillpott – Block and Grinder -http://blockandgrinder.com/
Chef Brent Martin – The Summit Room- http://www.thesummitrm.com/
Chef Jon Spencer – Epic Chophouse and Chillfire Bar and Grill- http://www.epicchophouse.com/
Chef Chris Coleman – The Asbury at the Dunhill Hotel - http://www.theasbury.com/
Chef Brian Williams – Upstream - http://www.harpersgroup.com/upstream.asp
Chef Nicholas Daniels – The Wooden Vine - http://thewoodenvine.com/
Chef Paul Ketterhagen – Carpe Diem - http://www.carpediemrestaurant.com/
Chef Jon Fortes – Mimosa Grill - http://www.harpersgroup.com/mimosa.asp
Chef David “Sully” Sullivan – The Fish Market – http://www.fishmarketbarandgrill.com/